Mullaperiyar dam to open at 7 a.m. with people at risk displaced: Kerala minister

859 families may need to be displaced, minister said (File)


People living downstream of the Mullaperiyar Dam are being evacuated as a precaution before Tamil Nadu opens the dam’s gates tomorrow morning, Kerala Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine said on Thursday.

The minister said in a statement that Tamil Nadu will open the shutters of the dam at 7 a.m. tomorrow and that water will be released to maintain its level at 138 feet until October 31.

He said there was nothing to worry about and people didn’t have to panic as Idukki’s storage capacity was 70.5 TMC against 12.758 TMC from Mullaperiyar and as a result the water released. of the latter would only increase the level of the former by a quarter of a foot.

“Therefore, Idukki will be able to contain the water released by the Mullaperiyar,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, State Revenue Minister K Rajan, speaking to a news channel, said the evacuation of the people had started on Thursday morning and would take place in three phases.

A maximum of 859 families comprising 3,320 members may need to be relocated, he said and added that the government has made arrangements to accommodate them in camps.

Augustine, in the statement, said that as the water level on the 24 kilometers from Mullaperiyar to Idukki is expected to rise by about 60 cm, a total of 1,079 people from 350 families would be affected by the flooding of two feet tall were evacuated.

All the preparations for the opening of the Idukki dam were done before the opening of the Mullaperiyar dam, he said.

He also said that all departments like Revenue, Health, Fire, Forestry and Police have formed special teams and completed security arrangements.

In addition, police will patrol areas where people have been evacuated from their homes.

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